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Current Affairs – 31st March 2017

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current affairs as on 31st march 2017

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International Current Affairs

Here we are providing very important current affairs of international category for 31st March 2017.

  • The Eiffel Tower in Paris, France was officially inaugurated to the public on this day (31st March) in the year 1889 to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of the French Revolution. 
    • It was designed by engineer and architect Gustave Eiffel.
    • Note : At the time of its inauguration, the 984 feet tall tower became the tallest man-made structure in the world, a title it held for 41 years.
  • Central America’s smallest nation, El Salvador, has become the first country in the world to ban metal mining nationwide.
    • The new law bans all exploration, extraction, and processing of metals both in open pits and mines.
    • Note : According to a UN report, the level of environmental pollution in El Salvador is among the highest in the region.
  • 3rd edition of G20 Framework Working Group (FWG) meeting was held at Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh).
    • The 2-day meeting took place under the G20 German presidency, and was co-hosted by the Union Finance Ministry and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
    • Inaugurated by : Shaktikanta Das (Economic Affairs Secretary)
    • Headed by : Dinesh Sharma (Special secretary in the Finance ministry)

National Current Affairs

The National Current Affairs as on 31st March 2017 are as follows:

  • The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has launched 2 mobile applications titled e-challan and m-parivahan to provide a comprehensive digital solution for enforcement of traffic rules.
    • These applications will provide access to various services and information, and enable citizens to report any traffic violation or road accident.
  • The stamping of hand baggage will be stopped at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, and Cochin airports from 1st April 2017.
    • Before this, all hand baggage had to be rubber-stamped by security personnel after it was put through security scanners at airports.
    • Note : This plan had been implemented earlier but was stopped due to the lack of required security equipment.
  • Gujarat Assembly has passed the Gujarat Animal Preservation (Amendment) Bill, 2017 to amend Gujarat Animal Preservation Act, 1954.
    • The amendment bill makes the existing law stricter and provides for harsher punishment and higher penalties to prevent cow slaughter in the state.

People in News

  • South Korea’s former President Park Geun-hye was arrested today over a corruption scandal that led to her official dismissal earlier this month.

MOUs & Agreements

  • India has signed loan agreement with the New Development Bank (NDB)/BRICS Bank for $350 million.
    • This loan to be used in the development and upgradation of district roads in Madhya Pradesh.
    • Note : This is India’s first loan agreement with NDB.
  • The Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IITM) and Indian Army have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to identify the critical technological areas that can be enhanced in the armed forces.
    • The MoU was signed by IITM Director Bhaskar Ramamurthi and Deputy Chief of Army Staff (P&S) Lt. Gen. Subrata Saha in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.

Science & Technology

  • Elon Musk-led space exploration startup SpaceX today successfully launched its pre-used Falcon 9 rocket, marking the first time an orbital class rocket has been relaunched.
  • US astronaut Peggy Whitson today broke the record for the most spacewalks by a woman after performing her eighth career spacewalk from the International Space Station.
    • The 57-year-old astronaut surpassed the record of seven spacewalks previously held by Indian-American astronaut Sunita Williams.
    • Note : Whitson is also the oldest woman ever to fly in space.
  • India’s third largest Internet Service Provider ACT Fibernet today announced the launch of 1 Gbps wired broadband internet service for Hyderabad, making it the first Indian city to offer such a service.

Business & Economic Affairs

  • The government has lowered the interest rates on small savings schemes like PPF, Kisan Vikas Patra and Sukanya Samriddhi scheme by 0.1 per cent for the April-June quarter, a move that would prompt banks to cut their deposit rates.
    • This move brings the interest rate on PPF down to 7.9%.
    • The interest rates cut also affects savings in government schemes namely National Savings Certificate, Sukanya Samriddhi Account Scheme and Kisan Vikas Patra among others.
  • The deadline to deposit and exchange demonetised ₹500 and ₹1,000 notes at RBI for Indian citizens who were abroad during the demonetisation period, ends today.
    • This facility is available at RBI offices in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Nagpur.
    • There’s no limit for exchange for eligible resident Indians.
    • Note : NRIs are allowed to deposit such notes till June 30.
  • The deadline to declare black money under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojna is today (31 March).
    • All offices of the I-T Department, which can accept declarations under PMGKY, will remain open until midnight.
    • Earlier, the department had warned that tax and penalty against those who hide black money and fail to avail the scheme could go up to 137%.
  • The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has issued a notification announcing that payment systems will remain closed on April 1.
    • This comes after an earlier directive asking banks to remain open on April 1, the first day of the next fiscal.
    • While debit and credit card transactions will not be affected, electronic fund transfers using RTGS and NEFT will remain closed.

Awards & Honors

  • Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli was conferred with the Padma Shri Award by President Pranab Mukherjee at a ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
  • Singer-songwriter Bob Dylan will receive his Nobel Prize for Literature in person at Stockholm this weekend.

Sports Current Affairs

All Sports updates as on 31st March 2017 are as follows:

  • Former cricketer Sachin Tendulkar launched his own app titled ‘100MB‘ in Mumbai today.
    • The app, available both on Android and Apple devices, also includes a networking platform for fans.
  • International Cricket Council (ICC) CEO Dave Richardson today announced that ICC will submit an application this year for including cricket in the 2024 Olympics.
    • Richardson revealed that Twenty20 tournament between six to eight teams will be the most likely format for the Olympics.
    • Note : Cricket last appeared at the Olympics in 1900 with only two teams participating.